Weekend Reads - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 19, 2021

Weekend Reads: America's First Triple Net-Zero Building; Quantifying Energy Justice

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web.

Green Aluminum is Competitive Today. It’s Time to Start Transforming (BloombergNEF) Net-zero emissions targets have thrown down the gauntlet to industrial emitters. The power and transport sectors have been investing hundreds of billions in deploying zero-emissions technology for the last decade. The heavy industrial sectors, like steel, cement, chemicals and aluminum have however been slower to invest, because it seemed like the technology and incentives were not there. That has now changed. BloombergNEF recently published an in-depth report showing how the aluminum sector can decarbonize. It is the first in a series of reports that examine the technologies and costs of making industrial materials with near-zero emissions.

Tackling 'Energy Justice' Requires Better Data. These Researchers Are On It (NPR) Poor people and people of color use much more electricity per square foot in their homes than whites and more affluent people, according to new research. That means households that can least afford it end up spending more on utilities. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, arrives as the Biden administration has said that it wants 40 percent of federal climate spending to reach poorer communities and communities of color, including initiatives that improve energy efficiency. Researchers have said better data on wealth and racial disparities is needed to make sure such plans succeed.

The green energy revolution is coming -- with or without help from Washington (CNN) The American clean energy industry is primed for a boom. The only question is whether Washington can help juice the transition. In both red and blue states, the revolution has already begun. But even as private industry invests in the future, the speed and scale of its efforts is in the hands of Congress, where Republicans and centrist Democrats are locked in negotiations with the Biden administration over President Joe Biden's ambitious infrastructure plan. The uncertainly can be frustrating for some on the front lines, but there is still hope -- and a recognition that even talk of action on Capitol Hill has been a boon to clean energy businesses, with potential partners and customers all eager to get a piece of the new federal investment.

7 renewable energy lessons from South Australia (World Economic Forum) It’s one-and-a-half times bigger than the US state of Texas, almost as big as Egypt and has a population of 1.7 million people. The state of South Australia is also a global leader in the use of renewable energy. The use of renewable energy will play a crucial part in helping the world hit the targets set at the Paris Climate Agreement to tackle climate change, including halting the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and working to limit the temperature increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. The progress made by South Australia could help the rest of the world find a faster route to a successful energy transition, according to a report from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).

America's first triple net-zero development planned for New York (New Atlas) New York-based Garrison Architects has joined forces with sustainable developers South End Development to create what they believe to be the very first triple net-zero mixed-use project in the United States. Dubbed Seventy-Six, the sustainably ambitious project aims to achieve a zero-impact development that will generate 100 percent of its energy demand via renewable sources, treat and reuse 100 percent of waste water and recycle or compost 100 percent of all generated waste. The award-winning design concept is part of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Buildings of Excellence competition and is planned for development in the heart of the South End neighborhood, located in Albany, New York.


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